Can a hotel refuse to honor your reservation because you won’t show your identification?

That’s not a hypothetical question. Nick Cataldo contacted me earlier this week because he’d been denied a room at a Sleep Inn property in Birmingham, Ala. Here’s his story.

When I was asked for and declined to show ID, a manager who was contacted by telephone spoke with me and refused me admittance unless I showed ID. I offered to pay cash for the room, to avoid suspicion of credit-card fraud, but this was still unacceptable.

The manager then refused to authorize cancellation of my reservation. After I left, my credit card was charged for one night’s stay. The charge was removed by American Express only after two months.

I asked Sleep Inn about this requirement to show ID. David Peikin, a company spokesman, said the hotel chain doesn’t require IDs to be shown by guests.

As a franchisor, we don’t own or operate any hotels. So while we don’t have any rules or regulations that require a hotel to request identification, these are independently owned and operated businesses that make their own operational decisions.

Cataldo did a little research to find out if the hotel was within its rights to require an ID.

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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